Sometimes decisions are hard. So tough, that we need a nursery rhyme to help us make our selection.

Eeeny, meeny, miney, moe. Catch a tiger by the toe…” Sometimes decisions are hard. So tough, that we need a nursery rhyme to help us make our selection. “My mother told me to pick the very best one, and that is Y-O-U.” This counting rhyme has existed in various forms since well before 1820 and is common in many languages with similar-sounding balderdash syllables. Choices have always been difficult, it seems.

Sometimes our decisions are frivolous and silly. We spend countless minutes a day agonizing over if we should wear heels or flats, hair up or down, if we should get the filet or just a salad. Other decisions can be weightier: Should we marry Bill or John? Should we take the job? Should we have a baby? Should we leave the European Union? (By the way, bloody unfortunate choice, Britons!)

Choice is considered to be a great thing. “So many choices, yay!” False. Too many choices actually paralyze us. In 1995, psychologists Mark Lepper and Sheena Iyengar released the infamous “jam study” showing that when people are given too many choices, they are debilitated. In a gourmet market in California, Iyengar built a booth of Wilkin & Sons jam samples. The researchers would switch their selection of 24 jams to a group of six jams every couple of hours.

On average, customers tasted two jams, despite the amount of jams available. For each sample, the customers received a coupon good for $1 off one Wilkin & Sons jam. More customers came by the booth with the large assortment but only 3 percent made purchases. However, 30 percent of the shoppers bought jam when there were only two choices, leading researchers to conclude that too many choices actually are debilitating, precluding us from making a decision. No wonder The Bachelor has such a tough time giving out roses, there are too many ladies to choose from!

What do you choose? Trump or Hillary? Compassion or judgment? We are dying to know your decision.

 

 



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